2015 Fire Scheme - Information on your membership for active members
How much will I pay?
Please find below the current Member Contribution Rates for the Firefighters 2015 scheme for 2019/2020:
|Pensionable pay range for an employment||Contribution rate from 1st April 2019|
|Up to £27,818||11.0%|
|£27,819 to £51,515||12.9%|
|£51,516 to £142,500||13.5%|
|£142,501 or more||14.5%|
What is the Firefighters 2015 pension scheme
There are three different variations of the Firefighters' Pension Scheme, these being:
- the Firefighters' Pension Scheme 1992
- the New Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2006
- the Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2015.
The Retained Modified Scheme also exists as an annex of the 2006 Scheme for those Special Firefighter Members who were offered the chance to buy back previous service and convert this service to Special Modified membership.
The Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2015 is the open Scheme which new firefighter members will join. Also, on 1 April 2015 many members of the 1992 Scheme and the 2006 Scheme, were moved into the 2015 Scheme as they were not covered by protections.
However, the 1992 and 2006 Schemes are still available to those members who were granted Tapered or Protected Membership of these Schemes.
The Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2015 operates as a Career Average Revalued Earnings scheme, which is a form of defined benefit pension scheme. The pension a firefighter will earn each year is based on their pensionable pay in that year and is increased by a set revaluation rate, linked to inflation, for each year up to retirement or leaving. The final pension is calculated by adding together the pension earned in each year of membership
What if I go on a strike day?
Should you take part in any strike action you should be aware that this may have an effect on your pension. If strike absence takes the form of complete days, then each complete day of absence will be omitted from your total pensionable service. If strike absence takes the form of lesser periods, for example one-hour strikes, the application of pension rules becomes more complicated.
In all cases you are able to pay the arrears of pension contributions to have your strike absence day reinstated as pensionable service.
For further information please see our Firefighters Strike implications on Pensions factsheet below:
Should you have any further queries regarding this matter, or wish to pay the arrears of pension contributions following a strike break then please contact your HR department.
How do I transfer any previous benefits?
As an alternative to a deferred pension, upon leaving the 2015 Scheme, you could request that your pension rights should be transferred to another pension arrangement.
If you leave your employment with the Fire & Rescue Service and transfer to another Fire Authority, provided there is no break in service between employments, you would remain a member of the 2015 Scheme.
However, if you leave to take up employment as a firefighter in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, a transfer payment would be paid because different funding arrangements apply.
Transfers are restricted from unfunded Public Service Pension Schemes to schemes from which members are able to access their benefits flexibly.
You can find out more about pension liberation on The Pensions Regulator website.
Leaving the scheme
If you do not want to be a member of the 2015 Scheme you can opt out at any time by providing us with a signed, written notice. The notice would take effect from the start of the following pay period.
If you have less than three months qualifying service at the time of the Opt Out, you would normally receive a refund of the contributions that you have paid. If you have three months or more you will have the option to transfer accrued rights to another pension arrangement or to take a deferred pension. However you cannot transfer out to a scheme offering flexible benefits or defined contribution schemes.
This is because the Firefighters Pension Scheme is unfunded. Under ‘automatic enrolment’ your fire authority will periodically re-enrol members who have opted out back onto the pension scheme. You can opt out again if you wish.
If you wish to re-join the 2015 Scheme after opting out you would need to complete a new member form. This would then take effect from the start of the following pay period.
Annual Benefits Statements
Your Annual Benefits Statement is a yearly statement detailing the value of your pension benefits at 31 March of that year. This is an important document which allows you to see how your pension is growing each year.
Your 2018 statement, for membership to 31 March 2018, will be issued to you by post by 31 August 2018.
We also provide you with a comprehensive explanation of your 2018 Annual Benefits Statement for the Firefighters’ pension schemes for both the Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire Fire Pension schemes, which can be found on our Forms and Resources page.